An effective digital marketing strategy can help your law firm bring in more clients, build a larger network, and increase your brand awareness. Over the course of the last 11 years, I have used various digital marketing strategies to get my intellectual property law firm off the ground and continue to grow it.
How to Digitally Market Your Law Firm
If I have learned one thing over my decade of experience growing and managing a law firm, it’s that your strategies should evolve with the marketplace. Using the following key approaches will give your law firm more visibility and quality leads.
1. Building a Law Firm Digital Marketing Plan and Strategy
When I started my practice from scratch back in 2008, the only way that I was able to acquire clients was through digital marketing. At the time, this was mainly pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). With the addition of new marketing platforms in recent years, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t build a plan around a single strategy. An effective plan will incorporate multiple avenues of marketing to current and potential clients.
This article focuses on the four main digital marketing strategies for law firms in 2019: pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and service platforms like UpCounsel and LegalZoom.
2. The Initial Trial and Error of a Digital Marketing Strategy
When beginning your digital marketing journey, you should keep in mind that a successful strategy requires trial and error. Because of this, a good place to start is with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, a method of advertising that allows you to target your ad to specific groups of people and pay based on impressions, clicks, or engagements.
PPC allows you to test out multiple keywords and creative messages to see which ones work best for your firm, setting a baseline for everything else you will do in your marketing campaigns. In addition to helping you narrow the scope of your targeting, PPC is a way to make money for your business in the short-term. On day one, you can become the number one listing on Google for any particular keyword, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.
Despite these benefits, PPC should be used cautiously. You can burn through a ton of cash by paying for highly competitive keywords, especially while costs are rising by the second. You don’t want to waste your money on clicks that don’t materialize into business opportunities, so make sure you optimize each ad for client conversion.
The one thing I do NOT recommend doing is hiring an agency to manage your Google Ads account. No one knows your business better than you do, and no one is going to take care of your money, messaging, and monitoring as carefully as you would.
3. Investing in Search Engine Optimization
When trying to fight against the rising rates of pay-per-click marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is your best defense. If done well, this method of digital marketing will help you rank higher for keywords that you previously had to pay for with PPC.
The main benefit of SEO is that it continues to build on your previous investment. With pay-per-click you spend money for a click and that is it. With SEO, your efforts will build on themselves over time. It requires a lot of patience and confidence that your strategy is correct. That said, after working on our law firm’s SEO for more than a decade, we typically receive upwards of a dozen leads for our law firm daily through our organic listings alone.
Because of the significant strategy needed to execute an SEO campaign, I recommend hiring an agency to help with this marketing strategy. The agency can stay on top of all the technical “best practices” and adjust your strategy accordingly over the years.
4. Marketing Your Law Firm with Social Media
Another way to market your law firm is through social media. Social media is a great way to stay top of mind for potential clients and to retain current ones. In particular, social media is great for local law firms, because these firms are able to really own territory by engaging daily and sharing relevant content.
However, implementing social media marketing requires the development of strong video content to effectively promote brand awareness. This can be challenging for small firms. Moreover, if the campaign is limited to a couple thousand dollars on social media, it will be hard to outpace the ROI of PPC advertising.
5. Why You Should Avoid Using Service Platforms
The final pillar of law firm digital marketing is service platforms like UpCounsel and LegalZoom. These are sites that allow you to create a profile and bid on work to do for people who are looking for legal assistance.
I generally do not recommend using these platforms because while it’s easy to use and it can bring you work in the short-term, these sites help curate a “race to the bottom” on pricing for lawyers and bring a middleman into your business strategy. Additionally, there may be some ethical concerns when working with a third party (think of your bar’s rules for fee-splitting and communication of privileged information).
Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm Digital Marketing Consultant
When it comes to digital marketing, the volume and complexity of strategies can be overwhelming. If you don’t have the in-house resources to do it on your own, a creative consultant can provide you with the know-how and expertise you need to create an effective ad that brings in clients.
Consulting is one of the many services I offer to other law firms and attorneys. A lot of my firm’s success is a result of the marketing strategies I have developed over the past 11 years. I can provide your firm with increased revenue, create accountability to act on your plan, and cut down on the time and effort it would otherwise take your own team to execute.
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